The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has released the second quarter sector statistics for the financial year 2018/2019, that is from October to December 2018. The quarter has been marked by many pluses, including a notable rise in the number of active mobile subscriptions.
According to The Authority, there are more than 49.5 million active mobile subscriptions, a 6.2 percent rise from the previous quarter. This has since pushed Kenya’s mobile penetration to 106.2 percent.
It should be noted that the country registered 100% penetration in the preceding quarter under analysis, which is no small feat, to say the least. The development is primarily based on the fact that more than 30 percent of locals have more than on SIM card.
So, what are the specifics of these numbers? Well, the quarter saw 2.8 million new net additions in mobile subscriptions during the quarter. Safaricom netted most of the new subscribers. In fact, the telco registered its 30th millionth subscriber the other day (it has 31,320,579 subscribers), although its overall subscriptions have since dropped by 0.9 percent to own 63.3 percent of the country’s share.
Airtel commands the second highest mobile share at 23.4% with 11,563,967 subscriptions, followed closely by its soon-to-be partner Telkom Kenya at 9 percent with 4,447,945 customers. Collectively, Airtel and Telkom have half the number of Safaricom PLC’s mobile subscriptions.
Telkom and Airtel are still pursuing talks of a merger that should see the telcos stage a solid competition against Safaricom. Furthermore, should the development see approval from the CA, and perhaps, should authorities declare Safaricom dominant according to suggestions brought forth by Telkom and Airtel, then market forces and new regulations will shift the market to the consumer’s favour in terms of better products that can replicated across the industry.